2022 Stanley Cup final – Avalanche – Lightning’s biggest questions after four games

TAMPA FL. — The Stanley Cup Final Hits are different when the Holy Grail of hockey is in the building.

After four games, the Colorado Avalanche Lead the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1. Friday night will see the Stanley Cup in Denver with its white-gloved stewards.

“They are a team that wants to be a dynasty. We are a team that wants to leave a lasting legacy,” Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar said.

Here are six questions to ask about the Stanley Cup Final. From how the Lightning could rally, to who could be the playoff MVP if it closes this week.

Can the Avalanche win this in five?

Daily Wager was before the series and I noticed that the Avalanche’s win in five games had one of the lowest odds of any scenario offered by the sportsbooks. This was a curious observation, considering that the Lightning were often the picks for pundits.

According to the old saying, follow the money.

It is different to bring a team close to elimination than to eliminate it. While the Avalanche did sweep the Avalanche, the Tampa Bay Lightning are not. Nashville Predators minus Juuse SarosThey are not the. Edmonton Oilers One of Leon DraisaitlIt has functioning legs. It will be hard to close the gap between back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.

The Lightning hopes that Colorado will be unable to withstand the enormity of the moment.

“Obviously, they’re likely preaching ‘They have never been there, they’re going tight’, which is true. But we’ll still be there,” Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon said.

He’s right. Steven Stamkos“The feeling is sucking now obviously, however the series wasn’t won tonight. We can imagine what it must be like to be there. It’s not easy. It can be nerve-wracking.

It is. Game 5. The series is on the home ice. A rival on the ropes.

This sounds familiar? It’s because the Avalanche came in the second round to face the Avalanche St. Louis Blues They lost 5-4 in overtime. They returned to St. Louis and won Game 6 by a goal. Darren Helm The final seconds.

This postseason, the Avalanche have not faced any adversity. They won that match against the Blues. Erik Johnson Before the Stanley Cup Final, they stated that they didn’t plan to inflict any more hardship.

Johnson stated, “That was a heartbreaker against St. Louis in Game 5.” “We were up, and they came back. This one didn’t go well for us. In the past, we might have been a bit rattled by that. We went to St. Louis and won Game 6.

“Mentally we have come a long distance from where we were. Sometimes it’s important to learn from your losses and defeats. It’s about keeping your foot on the pedal and not being satisfied.

How will the Lightning handle their anger?

Lightning missed a call and were left disappointed Nazem KadriGame 4.’s winning goal It was obvious from the moment that the NHL was forced to play it. put out a statement According to the Hockey Operations department, they confirmed with all four officials on-ice that there was no violation and that the judgment call is non-reviewable.

When we saw the video, we knew it was there:



P.K. Subban explains why he thinks the Avalanche won overtime because there were not enough ice hockey players.

Someone who witnessed the play in the arena told me that Kadri hit the ice with MacKinnon over 40 feet from the bench and that Kadri is a true professional. That is evident from the clip.

Lightning are a man’s best friend. Nick Paul said to me after Game 2: “You don’t want frustration seeping into the room.”

It is something that their opponents have also noticed. Colorado defenseman says, “This is a championship-caliber hockey team and I don’t think that they get frustrated.” Josh Manson said. “I think they’re patient. They’re patient and will adjust. That’s why they’re so successful, I believe.”

If there ever was a moment when they could embrace their inner Sith while letting their anger fuel their power it was now. It would be knowing Game 4 ended with a missed call that could have allowed them to win an overtime power play.

It’s unlikely they would have done much with it after failing on 13 of 14 attempts against Colorado. However, it would have been a lot of fun to try.

Jon Cooper, Lightning coach at the moment walked out of his news conference after one questionAs I sat silently ranting about the NHL’s forces — the salary cap and the blown call — as obstacles to his team, I thought of two things: That it was a chance for the postgame narrative to be changed, and that his genuine fury could lighten the fire for his players following the emotional letdown of Game 4.

They have every right to be mad after all of this.

It is not even close.

Special teams will decide who wins the Stanley Cup

The series had two laugh-out-loud games. Two of the games were overtime thrillers. One goal could have won the series. Both overtime games were won in favor of the Avalanche. Why did they go to an extra session? Special teams.

The advantage Colorado holds on special teams is the most lopsided in the Stanley Cup Final. Colorado has now gone 6-for-13 with the man advantage after Game 4. They have scored at least one goal in each of their games.

“The powerplay has been a key factor in our getting timely goals and keeping the games in play, and guys, when that happens, they feel confident and confident in their game,” Avs Forward Andrew Cogliano said.

You could argue that their power play altered the course of Game 4. The puck bounced off MacKinnon’s skating for a goal that tied it 1-1. Lightning had a power play in the first period with a chance of building a two-goal lead. They also had the opportunity to go for an earlier knockout. They failed. After MacKinnon’s goal of retaking the lead, they had another power play. They also failed. They have failed to win 13 of 14 chances against the Colorado penalty killing.

The series’ goal differential is five. Special teams have a goal differential of six, which includes a Cale Makar short-handed goals. Do the math.

Defenseman: “It’s simple to point to that now.” Victor Hedman said. “They scored many power-play goals. We want to keep it 5-on-5 because that’s when we’re at our best. My power play isn’t scoring goals but it is struggling. However, I feel we are creating momentum.

Moral victories are not counted on the scoreboard. Power-play goals do. Like the 10 Lightning goals that they have abandoned on home ice in this playoff run for the penalty kill (66.7%). This is not the way to go. They might lose the Cup.

Is Nazem Kandri one the playoffs’ greatest redemptions?

“This is the thing I have been waiting for all my life.”

After Game 4, Kadri was talking about his first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in his 13-year NHL history. These same words could be applied to his overtime goal to move Avalanche within one win of the Cup. He returned from thumb surgery to help his team.

These same words could be used to describe Kadri as an asset and not a liability in this postseason.

When I interviewed Kadri back in JanuaryI could see that he wanted to be a different person. He was tired being the guy who was suspended six more times, including three in Stanley Cup playoff series. It cost him playoff series games to the Boston Bruins In 2018 and 2019, with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was also banned from eight games of hitting during the Avalanche’s last postseason. Justin Faulk In the head.

“I believe I have grown from that time in my life.” He said that he has seen me grow as a player and person.

It is a great experience to watch him play in the playoffs. He has 15 points from 14 games, which includes two wins goals. He has six penalty minutes. He did not win any penalties in that famous play, where he went hard to the net and collided against the Blues goalie. Jordan BinningtonHe was injured and had to be taken out of the series. Binnington to throw a water bottle at Kadri after the game.

Consider where Kadri was on Game 4, after he scored an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Final. Think about where he was on May 24. scoring a hat trick against the Blues After being subject to racist threats via social media, there was an increase in police presence at the Avalanche team hotel in St. Louis as well as around the players’ entry to the ice. You remember his words after the game?

“For those who hate, this one’s for you.”

This should be on a banner at Stanley Cup parade. Assuming one exists.



Nazemkadri reacts when the Avalanche scored the game-winning goal in overtime. This gave them a 3-1 series lead going into the Stanley Cup Final.

Is it over?

After Game 4, the Lightning struck all the familiar defiant notes.

Stamkos stated that “there’s nothing to loose now.” “We need to play the final game of our season. It’s going be hard. We know that they are a great team. We won’t quit. We’ve come a long way. These guys have made so many sacrifices to reach this point.

However, a few Lightning players recognized that fatigue was a factor in the game’s final outcome. They’ve now played 21 playoff matches this year and are currently in the third round of their fourth straight four-round postseason. They have now played 18 games and had an eight-day rest before taking on the Lightning for their Cup match. They tilted the ice, making the Lightning a counterpunch team. The Avalanche scored six overtime goals and were a plus-10 in shot attempts.

They return to Denver, where they skated for two games with the Avalanche. Now they return to the place where Jared Bednar, coach, can roll out his MacKinnon Line to crater Stamkos’ line. Here’s where the Lightning didn’t look like it did.

Stamkos stated, “The mindset is just to win one game; it doesn’t matter what happened before.” “Reliving those games is not a good idea. We have to win one more game now that they’re over. This is our mentality.

It’s a great attitude. However, I would be shocked if we were back in Tampa this weekend.

What happens if the Conn Smythe is won?

MacKinnon shouldn’t be told that he ended a scoring drought during Game 4. “What drought? What if I experienced a drought? “Three games is the definition of drought.” He said.

You can score with the frequency Nathan MacKinnon scores, and it’s true. He has 21 goals, and has scored 21 points in 18 games. He is not the Avalanche’s leading scorer. Cale Makar has 27 points in 18 playoff matches — as a defenceman.

While I’m not Conn Smythe voting this year I can rank the candidates right now.

1. Makar
2. MacKinnon
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Vasy is more valuable than I thought. Nikita Kucherov Steven Stamkos or Makar, who could be the other Lightning candidates. As for the M&M boys, Makar’s record-setting offense combined with his valiant shutdown role against Connor McDavid It was amazing.

Is MacKinnon truly the heart of this team? Yes. Was Makar able to do more for them in general? It seems so.

Will they be drinking from each other’s Cups this week? Probably.



Kevin Weekes joins SVP for a breakdown of Colorado’s amazing comeback victory in Game 4 against the Lightning.

Jersey Foul of Week

This is the Stanley Cup Final. It’s one of the most bizarre Jersey Fouls in the season.

This is the essence of a Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche An oversized sweater mixed with an Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning sweater into a No. 38 “Royvskiy” FrankenJersey. We have… questions.

This was an attempt to honor the NHL’s two greatest postseason goalies. They bought it before the Stanley Cup Final. Was it intended to help bridge animosity towards opponents if they bought it after the matchup? This photo was taken in Denver, so we assume the person is an Avs fan. What happens to this jersey if the Lightning win. Does the jersey split organically into two different halves?

The Conn Mythe of ridiculous playoff Fouls.

Vote for the Week

That’s something I am proud to be able to boast about the final NHL Awards Watch correctly forecasted all the winners, including Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar winning the Norris Trophy Despite the fact that no one could have foreseen how narrow this margin of victory would be,

Voting ended with 25 points. It was the smallest margin since. P.K. Subban The Norris was awarded to the winner in 2013 Ryan Suter It was 36 points in favor. It was close but not razor thin: Please remember Nicklas Lidstrom Edging Shea Weber For the Norris by Nine points 2011. (Geez Nick. You could have spread some wealth a little. Makar-Josi felt close only because Josi (98), received more first-place votes that Makar (92).

My ballot for the Norris vote was:

  1. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

  2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

  3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

  4. Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

  5. Adam Fox, New York Rangers

Fox was fantastic this season. But, it was impossible for him to get back-toback Norris wins. He finished fifth in the actual voting, while McAvoy was fourth. Charlie Mac won one of the first-place votes. He didn’t have the offensive chops of the players before him, but I do not think so.

I stated to Nashville fans that Josi and Makar were ahead of Josi. Despite Hedman scoring absurdly high 96 points in just 80 games, I was going to explain it. Let’s begin with the criteria for the trophy: “To the defense team player who displays the most all-round ability in their position throughout the season.” Let’s keep going with the phrase “all-round.”

Josi’s even strength defensive metrics this season were, frankly, underwhelming for an elite defenceman. According to Evolving Hockey, he was the Predators’ worst defenseman in terms of even-strength defensive expectations goals above average (minus-1.3). Makar was second on Evolving Hockey’s Avs (5.2), while Hedman was third for Lightning (3.8), both of which are quite positive.

Let’s dive a little deeper. Top Down Hockey had Josi at the 24th percentile of defensemen at even strength effectiveness. Makar was at the 95th percentile, while Hedman was at the 71st.

Josi was assigned more defensive duties than Josi. Both played regularly on the penalty killing, with Josi playing 0:43 an average per game. It is not necessary to penalize players for their coach’s use of them. For example, I voted Matthew Tkachuk He placed fifth for Selke Trophy, even though he was not used on the penalty killing. John Hynes made the decision to save Josi energy and keep him off of the kill (where he averaged 2h07 per game from 2014-15 to 2020-21), and put him in offensively beneficial situations against other players. This affected his Norris case. It’s probably also the reason he was sixth in the Hart.

Final score: Josi was beaten by Makar by 0.08 points per game.

Hail Makar! But great job Josi.

The week’s winners and losers

Winner: Auston Matthews

The Maple Leafs’ star, David Brooks, was named MVP by NHL Award winners. This award recognizes the player who is most likely to remove shirt buttons in order to fight Floridian humidity.

Loser: MVP goalies

I seriously considered it. Igor Shesterkin In the Hart Trophy vote. He was the reason Rangers made it to the playoffs. His slight decline in performance during the final quarter of the season was my issue, as well as the fact that he only played 56 games. These are fair criticisms. A lesser known fact is “Goalies have their award!” You could also vote for a goalie MVP each year! Both of these were voted for by voters.

Paul Maurice is the winner

Maurice was elected the successor to his father. Winnipeg Jets He was clearly exhausted and felt he couldn’t get any more out of the team. Now he is the coach. Florida Panthers, a very different climate (from temps and media), takes over the defending President’s Trophy winners, whose goal is to “advance beyond round two.” Dude, press the upgrade button.

Loser: New faces

Let’s celebrate the new faces who have been hired as head coaches this offseason: Paul Maurice (1.685 regular-season NHL hockey games), John Tortorella (1.383), Peter DeBoer (1.015), and Bruce Cassidy (509 NHL games). Barry Trotz, a rookie looking for an NHL head coaching job for the 24th season, is next.

Winner: Loudness

Stanley Cup Final is more than a conference with two stars. It is blessed with two amazing arena experiences. The “All The Small Things”, singalongs in Denver and the massive Bolts fan base in Tampa have elevated an already spectacular final round. It’s amazing, especially when you consider the fact that both of these teams played in empty buildings in summer 2020. It’s hard to know what you have until it comes back.

Loser: Sweetness

“Sweetness”, a Jimmy Eat World song, is being dropped by the Panthers. It will be the team’s new goal song for the 2022/23 season. The band was listening (“WHOA-OH-OH-OHOHOH!”) The Panthers were dealt another defeat in the postseason.

The headlines for Puck

From your friends at ESPN

This feature on the Stanley Cup It is addictive and very informative. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment